I was asked today if I have checked my Klout score. I have seen a lot about Klout…it’s essentially a way to measure your influence (there’s that word again). Klout defines its metrics this way:
We believe that influence is the ability to drive people to action — “action” might be defined as a reply, a retweet or clicking on a link.
So, if you have a lot of people clicking on links and retweeting you, your Klout score goes up. Naturally, attaining a high Klout score will be easier, statistically, for someone with 50,000 followers than a person with 100 followers. 1% of 50,000 will always be bigger than 1% of 100, I don’t care what kind of fuzzy math you’re doing.
That’s not why I have no interest in my Klout score, however.
Put simply, I haven’t checked my Klout ranking for 2 reasons.
1. I don’t need to
2. I don’t care
Let’s explore both of these in a bit of detail.
I don’t need to know what my Klout score is
So, first of all, I have my own ways of measuring clicks. I know how many people are coming to my blog. I know how many people (roughly) are clicking on my bit.ly links. I know how many people are retweeting me. Even if I cared deeply about my Klout score, the plain and simple numbers that I look at to measure what I’m doing tell me that in terms of clicks and Retweets, I am not “influential.” Boo hoo. Don’t cry too hard for me. I’ll survive somehow.
Here’s the thing. For me, clout (spelled correctly and without a .com after it) in Social Media translates to people you’ve helped somehow. Do you know how you measure that? People kindly tell you that you helped them. Yep. Communication on Social Media sites. Wacky, right? Klout doesn’t really measure “influence” in this way, but I think all measures of influence should be based on “thank you” and any and all translations. A lot of the people who have high Klout scores would also probably rank pretty highly on the “thank you” scale. Others would fall off pretty darned quickly, though. For example, the people who spend a lot of time saying, “Please RT” or “OMG CLICK!”. They might have a great Klout score, but not a lot of the kind of clout that I admire.
I don’t care about my Klout score
Numbers in Social Media, for me, have just become moments of pause. I marked when I finally got my 100th follower. I noted progress when I grew my community to 500 followers. I paused again when I reached 1,000 followers. But I have not changed a gull darn thing about how I am blogging or how I am Tweeting. At this point, my game in Social Media is about continuing to learn all I can and then when I’m not doing that, bringing other folks up to speed who might be struggling in the same way I was six months ago. That’s it. I don’t get retweeted a whole lot because generally, I don’t talk in sound bytes. I talk in words that I string together into 140-character mini sentences. Normally, those are written in response to something someone has said to me. I just talk to people. There isn’t anything innately retweetable about “Hey, are you feeling better?” I don’t care. I just don’t. I like talking to the people I talk to. I learn from them, and hopefully they learn from me while also having a little fun (sometimes at my expense).
Point a finger and you have three pointing back at you
I’m not saying that you are a TERRIBLE person if you use Klout. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t get too bogged down in it. Ultimately, if you care about that kind of thing, you could just make your game a Klout tally score. You could trick people into clicking links. You could get a bunch of your friends to retweet everything you say. Your Klout score would probably skyrocket in just a couple of days. But how does that really help you in the end? Ultimately, people will realize that that game is all you’re about. Hungry Hungry Hippo is really fun for about the first hour, and then people want to move on to Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble, right? Well, it’s the same kind of thing. I think people who use Twitter to communicate person-to-person find it much more rewarding, in all of the ways that Klout.com doesn’t measure. Just my opinion, but I’m sticking to it.
1st Image by sebile akcan. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/sebileakc
2nd image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/rubenshito